The Oscar Race Is Taking Shape: 4 Takeaways from Telluride

As critics and reporters rush a plateau of Telluride (and a canals of Venice) and make their approach to downtown Toronto—Vanity Fair will be covering that festival from all angles in a entrance week—let’s take a small breather to consider what we know right now, before Toronto happens and shakes all adult again. Though we weren’t in Venice, we were in Telluride this past weekend; here’s what a festival taught us about a Oscar competition so far.

La La Land Is a Big Deal

We knew Damien Chazelle’s reversion low-pitched would be something from a notation we saw that initial alluring teaser trailer progressing this summer. (Or, really, a notation we listened it was being made.) But a film’s Oscar-iness wasn’t strictly reliable until critics saw it, initial during Venice and afterwards at Telluride. The film was rapturously received by many film journalists, while a hoity-toity Telluride crowd—many of them Hollywood heavy-hitters, copiousness some-more usually abounding comparison folks with a Labor Day weekend and a few thousand dollars to spare—seemed equally enamored. Those latter fans are a good pointer for a film, as abounding comparison folks are accurately a kind of people who opinion in a Academy. Beyond a film’s gorgeous instruction and technicals, Emma Stone gives a tremendous, eye-catching performance, one that ought to have her on many shortlists as a deteriorate unfolds. Stone has all nonetheless won a comedy/musical Golden Globe already, and seems roughly confidently on her approach to an Oscar nomination. In fact, driven insane by altitude (and maybe a potion or dual of manly towering wine), we went all in for Stone a few days ago:

Of course, there are many some-more large performances entrance up, ones that no one’s seen yet, that could simply spoil Stone’s chances. The many earnest among those is Stone’s The Help co-star Viola Davis in Fences. But! we listened an engaging gossip during a celebration in a plateau this weekend, a wheeze that Davis is going to be run in a ancillary difficulty instead of lead—in sequence to guarantee her a win. This, notwithstanding a fact that Davis won a lead-actress Tony Award for a same purpose usually 6 years ago. Who knows if this gossip has any law to it—and even if it does, these things are theme to change—but that could positively transparent a trail for Stone to float a purpose of her career (so far) all a approach to a Oscar stage.

Never Count Out Clint

Sure, Sully has an early Sep release, that isn’t unequivocally a many awards-friendly of slots. But Clint Eastwood’s portrayal of U.S. Airways commander Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s supernatural puncture alighting on a Hudson in 2009, and a successive review it sparked, is surprisingly strong. The moody scenes are retaining and frightful (though, of course, eventually uplifting), and a N.T.S.B. conference scenes are compelling—if you’re into somewhat simplified aeroplane minutiae, anyway. (And we am. I’ve review Airframe some-more than once, for God’s sake.) So Sully isn’t exactly a Eastwood teenager work a trailer and miss of hum pre-Telluride finished it seem. Most tellingly, a Telluride throng loved it. They whooped and cheered and gave a station acclaim a morning we saw it, and it was a many consistently referenced film we listened in line all weekend. Again, not everybody during Telluride is an Academy voter—most aren’t, even—but they do simulate a certain ambience that could be common by those who do opinion for this stuff. Eastwood is an Oscar favorite, and nonetheless Sully is positively smaller than, say, American Sniper, a awards chances are not 0 after a successful moody in Colorado. The film’s star, Tom Hanks, doesn’t have utterly adequate to do to put him many in a behaving race, we don’t think, nonetheless with a 10-movie best-picture complement resolutely in place, Sully could hide in there.

An Underdog Favorite Has Emerged

Telluride audiences were a initial in a universe to see Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, an exquisite, relocating mural of a immature happy black man that was positively a art-house favorite during a festival. It’s clever on all fronts: it facilities glorious behaving from both newcomers and faces we know, a essay is concurrently musical and precise, and it’s beautifully filmed. This is a strong, clever movie, one that ought to play unequivocally good during Toronto after this week. In any usually world, it would be during a tip of a awards review heap. And yet, a demographics—decidedly black, decidedly queer—don’t accurately align with a Academy’s. Sure, work is being finished to equivocate another hopefully a some-more different array of films will be respected this year. But a intersectionality of Moonlight might infer too many for a some-more regressive members of a Academy. Which would be a shame. No doubt many people will be championing this film as a deteriorate progresses, and maybe that will be adequate to secure a place in a narrative. Right now, we don’t consider that will be a case—but a vital dash in Toronto could change that.

Fortunes Fall

Whoops. On Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men podcast last week, we started violence a small drum for Una, a film blending from a acclaimed play Blackbird. It seemed revelation to me that a film, that wasn’t unequivocally on anyone’s radar until a few weeks ago, was going to shade during Telluride before bowing during Toronto. A Telluride run seemed to prove a somewhat towering turn of quality, a specialness. Telluride is many some-more curated than Toronto, as it usually has 4 days of programming to fill instead of 10. So Una seemed like maybe something suddenly significant, quite for a star, Rooney Mara. But afterwards we saw a movie. While it’s got a strengths—it sports a stylish demeanour and murmurs in an eerily evocative tone—theater executive Benedict Andrews’s initial film is, for a many part, sparse and shaky. Playwright David Harrower did his possess instrumentation and, maybe disturbed that dual people articulate in a room wasn’t enough, he combined in a garland of additional stuff, branch a luscious two-hander play into a labyrinth thriller. Mara, who can give a good opening in usually about anything, gets a bit lost. Though some critics were tender with a film, it left me feeling cold.


2014: In Atelier Versace during a London premiere of emThe Amazing Spider-Man 2./em
2015: In a Lanvin jumpsuit during a Golden Globes.
2014: In Valentino during a Venice Film Festival.
2014: In Thakoon during a Met Gala.
2011: In Calvin Klein during a Golden Globes.
2015: In a Monique Lhuillier dress during a Independent Spirit Awards.
2014: In Chanel during a Berlin premiere of emThe Amazing Spider-Man 2./em
2012: In Lanvin during a 2012 Golden Globes.
2015: In Oscar de la Renta during a Cannes Film Festival.
2012: In Alexander McQueen during a Screen Actors Guild Awards.
2011: In Bottega Veneta during a MTV Movie Awards.

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